How Has Ransomware Evolved Over the Years?

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Has Ransomware Evolved

Did you know that the first case of ransomware surfaced in 1989? Since then, it has grown far more dangerous and common. Let’s examine some of the numbers regarding how ransomware has evolved and how you can avoid it affecting your organization.

The Addition of Triple Extortion

Double-extortion was a significant evolution in the ransomware threat. Attacks would first demand a ransom for data restoration and then threaten to leak data on the Internet if the demands were not met. This type of threat was first spotted in 2019, and it has given rise to further evolutions in the form of triple extortion.

In addition to the above demands and threats, cybercriminals will also threaten to directly notify regulators, resulting in severe penalties for the business. It’s easy to see how this type of threat would encourage businesses to pay up, but it’s important that you never, under any circumstance, give in to a ransomware demand. We recommend that you prevent ransomware infections first so you are not put in this position.

Phishing and Its Relationship to Ransomware

The greatest strategy you have against ransomware attacks is training your team on the importance of avoiding phishing attacks, which is how these threats typically spread. Suppose the cybercriminal can convince a user to hand over credentials, download an infected attachment, or click on an infected link. In that case, they can bypass your considerable security measures entirely, making it much easier for the threats to proliferate and spread.

AI Makes Phishing Threats Harder to Identify

Artificial intelligence is now being used in the public sector and for businesses, and it has led to many individuals—including cybercriminals—using it for their own suspicious deeds. Attackers can create more convincing scams than ever using AI to make their efforts more effective. You must train your team to identify these threats before it’s too late.

Don’t Underestimate the Threat of Ransomware

Criminals can capitalize on ransomware in many ways. Just like businesses that use typical software to fuel their monetization efforts, there are businesses dedicated to cybercriminal activity. They use their money to fuel further attacks that take advantage of others. Some even offer it as a service to others, making it more accessible than ever.

Your business must take steps to protect itself from ransomware, and it’s not as simple as a singular fix. You must take a multi-faceted approach to ransomware protection, including the following:

  • Not clicking unknown links
  • Not opening unexpected attachments
  • Maintaining a proper backup isolated from the rest of your systems

Don’t Risk Your Business by Not Taking Ransomware Seriously

As evidenced by recent data, having a data backup in place can be a significant way to fight back against ransomware. Payments shifted from 85% of victims paying in 2019 to just 27-29% paying in Q4 of 2023, meaning that fewer people are paying the ransom to restore their data. We take small victories like these!

We’ll have your back if your business is ready to fight ransomware. Learn more about TWINTEL or call us at (888) 428-0599 or schedule a meeting today.

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TWINTEL Solutions has grown into an expansive, full team of IT services professionals, acting as the outsourced IT department of non-profits, small to mid-size businesses, and enterprise-level corporations.